Are you looking for music resources to use at home? Here are some things I find helpful:
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Musical Instruments and tools for music making
Instruments are great to use in your music corner, or to put in a music basket at your house. There are so many options, depending on your needs. Things to consider:
- pitched or unpitched instruments
- age of your children (more toy based versus real instruments)
- space (music basket vs. a giant space for music making, etc.)
Boomwhackers- These are so much fun! I think they work best with at least a few children, but even one child can enjoy making sounds with the boomwhackers. The notes are color coded. There is lots of boomwhacker music available online, and children can be successful playing without having to read music.
Rhythm Sticks- rhythm sticks are great! They can be used for so many activities, like keeping beat, reading along with a book or poem, practicing rhythm patterns, or experimenting with different sounds.
Glockenspiel or xylophone- You could invest in a xylophone for the little ones (xylophones have bars made of wood instead of metal), but they are typically more expensive. These are great for practicing using mallets, and also experimenting with different pitches.
Egg Shakers- Egg shakers are so much fun! They are a really popular item at our house. There are lots of different types online (I’ve even seen some fruit shaped shakers!). Egg shakers are great for practicing the beat along with music. They are small enough to take with you or put in your music basket. You can also make your own shakers by using leftover plastic eggs from Easter.
Tools for Music and movement
scarves– scarves are such a versatile prop for music making! If you’ve ever been to a music and movement class with your child, you’ve probably seen them use scarves. Children love to use scarves, and they are an easy way to demonstrate what they are hearing in the music, like fast or slow, smooth or choppy, high or low. One of my favorite listening lessons is using scarves while listening to the Carnival of the Animals, Aquarium.
Bean bags– another fun prop, and easy to store in your music basket (if you haven’t heard of a music basket, check out this post explaining how to make a music basket).
Ribbons– these are fun for dances or special presentations. They can also be used during listening lessons to demonstrate different elements of music (moving to the steady beat, etc.).
Stretchy band– if you have a group of any size, this is a great addition to your music time! Can be used in similar ways as a parachute. Children sit around the stretchy band, each holding onto the band in front of them. They move it along with the music (or rhyme) according to directions.
Puppets- puppets are my favorite prop to use during music time with the younger ages. In the classroom, puppets were especially popular with my kindergarten and first grade classes. I have a favorite bee puppet that was used a lot for rhymes like Bee, Bee Bumblebee and Here is the Beehive.
Other resources that are helpful:
- stuffed animals
My children’s stuffed animal collection provides plenty of characters for our music making, like bears for the song Grizzly Bear or the story of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or Bear Snores On. If you look around your house, I bet you’d be surprised how many different stuffed animals you find that you can use! During my nursery rhymes unit with kindergarten, I found three little kitten stuffed animals and a big mother cat stuffed animal to take to school. The students always enjoyed being able to play with stuffed animals.
For the little ones, bouncy balls are great for practicing rolling skills. As they get a little older, they can use bouncy balls, or even basketballs to practice bouncing to the beat.
- children’s books
Books are one of my favorite ways to incorporate music into everyday routines. Some of our favorites are The Napping House, Mortimer and Over in the Meadow. You can also check out how to make a sound story here, if you’ve never done one before.
This one probably goes without saying! I like to create stations on pandora, and more recently, I have started using amazon’s music unlimited feature, which lets you listen to a huge collection of music at a set price (9.99/month for non prime and 7.99/month for prime members).